Commentary on “Aung San statue controversy highlights vulnerability of ethnic minority identity”

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The reality lies with the conceptualization of common national identity, which is still very vague and might not be even in the making.

The Bamar political elite wants to portray “Myanmar” as a common national identity, which they wanted to link with the Bamar national hero the late Gen Aung San, as a nation builder.

But the non-Bamar ethnic nationalities: Kachin, Shan, Karenni, Karen, Mon, Arakan and Chin have their own national heroes or leaders and see Gen Aung San only as the Bamar national hero and not theirs.

They have nothing against erecting Gen Aung San statues in Burma Proper or Burmese dominated areas. But they see it as inappropriate to be putting up such statues in their states, as they also have their national heroes, and in many instances cannot even afford to build one to honor them.

Thus, what the Karenni youth argue is correct, which said: “Implement Panglong Agreement promises (Aung San’s promises) first – meaning: genuine federal union – before erecting his statue”.

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